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re-seasoning cast iron pan  RSS feed

 
                                    
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I have this store bought "Lodge" brand 8" cast iron pan and I'm not sure what I should do with it. I've never seasoned it as far as I know (I've never put it in the oven for 45 minutes and smoked up my small apartment). I just boiled water in it for 10 minutes to clean up all sorts of built up gunk. EVERYTHING sticks to it.

I'm wondering if it's beyond repair at this point? You can see from the pictures here. I'm not sure what to do. Thank you-

In the second picture I had my stove lamp on and it makes it look REALLY rusted but it's not that bad.



 
Leila Rich
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It's completely fixable!
There's several  'seasoning cast iron' threads here that will tell you everything you need to know.
 
Len Ovens
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A wire brush (aka cheap BBQ cleaner for $1.50) will take off any rust that is there.... cook fatty things like bacon (any meat really) in it. I use a cheap putty knife from the dollar store to scrape it after use. The stuff that sticks will eventually harden and season it. For the most part do not clean with water, just scrape smooth, wipe out any dust/chunks and put a bit of lard/tallow in and heat till it absorbs it (doesn't have to be hot enough to smoke) before storing. If you must use water, do not soak it, but do heat it to dry and add grease as before. If you must use veg oil.... I can't suggest which one to use.... Palm maybe? Personally I won't use rape (canola) for much other than fuel.... certainly not to eat (have you ever smelled that stuff as it grows?) I think someone suggested peanut oil.
 
Leila Rich
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If I'm cooking meat I virtually never add fat as there's usually plenty in the flesh.
Fat's by far the best thing to keep your pan in good nick once you've got it seasoned, but I eat very little meat. I use grapeseed oil for wiping the seasoned pan and high-heat cooking.
Try not to use the pan for wet/sloppy stuff as it will remove the seasoning layer.
 
Danae Irl
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I have cleaned a cast iron frying pan that looked far worse than yours.It was thrown out by a shoarma restaurant.You can clean it with a steelwooll pad and if not clean then,you can boil water with a spoonfull of baking soda in it for 15 minutes.After that heat the pan and add some good fat,like coconut oil (it has a high burning point).Be sure that the fat has covered the whole inside of the pan.Now it's ready for use.After use you can wash it with hot water and a brush or wipe it clean.Always put it away when it is thoroughly dry and be sure the grease film is still there.If not,just greas the pan again when hot.I have my pan for nearly 20 years and it is still going strong!
 
Jordan Lowery
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ive turned way worse into brand new cast iron pans. if worst comes to worst you can get a wire attachment for a drill and buff the rust off, followed by a hand sand with a fine wire mesh. once all the rust is gone you can wash good, wipe dry really good, then continue to season. and season it again, and a third time. by then you will have a nice black, smooth, clean pan to cook on.
 
gary gregory
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I've seasoned old pans by coating them inside and out with veg oil and plenty of salt and then placing in 300 deg oven for 1/2 hour - remove and let cool a little before wiping with paper towel or cloth. 
 
                          
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It's ruined. 

But I'd be willing to add it to my collection, just as a warning to others.

Dan
 
Ken Peavey
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If it's not split in half, its still a good pan.  I picked up a dutch oven at a flea market-covered with rust, unsightly, had been used for growing flowers.  Price tag said 2 bucks, I offered the guy a buck, he accepted.  Took it home, cleaned it up, its as good as new.

That pan could be cleaned up and put into service in less than 5 minutes.
 
                                                
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Clean your pans, do not leave a layer of crud on them.
If you must put a pan up try rubbing a small amout obees wax on it to keep the rust down. I ran into a fella a the North  eastern Vous who said it's easier than oil and cleaner.
 
                      
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I rescued a pan from a garbage heap. When my fire place had a nice bed of coals & we were stoking it for the last time before bed- I tossed it in for the night. In the morning when I pulled it out the rust was gone & it is mostly smooth but some areas have a red tint to it. Not the same red as the rust was. I think I heard somewhere that some types of wood burning in you iron will leave stains like that but now I don't know what to do about it. Can I just season & go or do I need to buff that coloration out?
 
                            
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Whats the best oil/grease to use to maintain/season cast iron pots/skillets?  I use peanut oil since I fry fish time to time and its the best to deep fry with in my opinion. I've heard of using bacon grease, would it be better to save bacon grease and reuse it??  I have a lodge skillet i'm trying to work back in to shape since I messed it up a little (wish I'd done a little homework on maintaining cast iron pots).
thanks
 
Len Ovens
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jdemp wrote:
Whats the best oil/grease to use to maintain/season cast iron pots/skillets?  I use peanut oil since I fry fish time to time and its the best to deep fry with in my opinion. I've heard of using bacon grease, would it be better to save bacon grease and reuse it??  I have a lodge skillet i'm trying to work back in to shape since I messed it up a little (wish I'd done a little homework on maintaining cast iron pots).
thanks


My opinion is to use whatever you cook with.... If you are mostly deep frying, then from my experience the food floats and sticking is not a problem anyway.
 
                            
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Actually I just mentioned deep frying fish because its the reason I keep peanut oil, I use non-stick spray with just about everything else and I'm starting to believe thats probably not the best thing for cast iron.
I use my pots/skillets for just about everything from eggs to chicken to steak to jambalaya and rice dressings...  Not just for deep frying.  I was wondering aside from when I'm deep frying if I should start using a different kind of oil or just keep using peanut oil. The more I think about it I think i'm going to stick with peanut oil or vegetable oil and get away from the non-stick spray. 
 
Len Ovens
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jdemp wrote:
Actually I just mentioned deep frying fish because its the reason I keep peanut oil, I use non-stick spray with just about everything else and I'm starting to believe thats probably not the best thing for cast iron.
I use my pots/skillets for just about everything from eggs to chicken to steak to jambalaya and rice dressings...  Not just for deep frying.   I was wondering aside from when I'm deep frying if I should start using a different kind of oil or just keep using peanut oil. The more I think about it I think i'm going to stick with peanut oil or vegetable oil and get away from the non-stick spray. 

Non-stick spray = rapeseed oil (probably hydrogenated <=poison> to make it have a longer shelf life) plus something to hold the food out from the pan a microscopic amount. The do it yourself method is to take oil and mix a bit of flour in ....

My findings are:
-vegetable oil... the bread sticks to the pan.
-butter, animal fat .... the bread never sticks
-vegetable oil with flour ... works fine, but takes my time to mix it up
-spray works fine too, but look at the list of ingredients.
-a bakery I worked in many years ago sprayed mineral oil on the pans... that worked too.

I personally use animal oil as there always seems to be some hanging around and we render whatever comes out of the animals we use too. Mineral oil may be fine in a very thin mist on a bread pan, but I wouldn't want to use enough to fry things in. Over heated non-saturated fats become trans-fats... saturated fats don't. The studies that pan saturated fats have been questioned by some health professionals and researchers too as often the rest of the diet was not taken into account. It is hard to get good oil/fat from the store, one will be GMO (and be hydrogenated) and the other have traces of anti-biotics. We buy our meat side at a time from known sources. Hard to give good advice on oil/fat health wise.
 
                                
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Actually, give it a good scrubbing with salt.  Heat it on the stove, add some oil, I use safflower and a whole lot of coarse Kosher salt.  Then, protect your hands and scrub with a paper towel.  The salt is an abrasive and will clean up just about any mess, when you are satisfied dump the salt in a safe place (it is HOT) and wipe another layer of oil.  I also store mine with paper towels in them to help absorb any moisture.

Tami


........that's how we learned it in culinary school.......................
 
                            
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Len, thanks for the info. Sounds like your saying you'd prefer going with bacon grease?  I was thinkin of going that route regardless of the health issues, not like I was going to be using a whole lot. 
 
Len Ovens
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jdemp wrote:
Len, thanks for the info. Sounds like your saying you'd prefer going with bacon grease?   I was thinkin of going that route regardless of the health issues, not like I was going to be using a whole lot.   



Well, my son can't have cured bacon, but he likes pork. Lard is nice and soft at room temp so it is handy to use, but right now we are using tallow which is hard like wax because that happens to be what we have. My son is hyper-sensitive to anti-biotics so we can't use butter unless we get good raw pasture fed milk and make our own... not possible right now.
 
Bucks Brandon
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jdemp wrote:
Len, thanks for the info. Sounds like your saying you'd prefer going with bacon grease?   I was thinkin of going that route regardless of the health issues, not like I was going to be using a whole lot.   



FWIW in my experience there is different grades of bacon, and bacon grease. When we are feeling poor and get the stuff at the grocery store, that bacon fat cooks up in some strange ways on my cast iron...
...but when we get good REAL bacon from our local butcher, it's like cooking with magic!
That being said, whenever I season or re-season my cast iron, i use crisco or veggie / canola oil. The crisco is nice because you can smear it on with a paper towel when cold and put it in the oven and forget it.
So long as you have some sort of fat/oil it should work. Like I said, the only strange experiences I've had is with grocery store bought bacon with who-knows-what added to it....

Kosher salt is great for scrubbing stuck-on gunk off the pan, but lightly oil it afterwards.
 
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